A Healthier Me!
It’s about time I took my health into my hands and work on habits that will keep me around for a much longer time. I already made some changes, but now my dad is really concerned and checking up on me daily. I can credit that to social media. I posted a status update on Facebook the other day about my eyes being blurrier than normal and he caught whim of that. We have high blood pressure (HBP) in our family and my parents, my brother and I have it as well. My brother and I are straddling Stage 1. Lucky for me, I work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and last year or so, I took a “Mastering Weight Management” course. It was eye-opening to me and I never looked at my diet in the same light again.
So; what do I do now!? I have a binder from that weight management course, which breaks their lessons down into weeks – so I’m going to start there. Yesterday; I started a food log, so I know what I’m eating and what to change, and I started an exercise program. Nothing big, it’s just walking for 15 minutes (5 min warm-up, 5 min of brisk walking/jogging, and 5 min of cool down). The goal is to make sure I can schedule at least 3 walking sessions a week – after I get more comfortable with walking I can increase the intensity of the exercise, etc.
My Own Electronic Medical Record
I’m using Google Docs to keep track of my health data. The course, suggested I keep track of the foods I’m eating, some realistic goals, and my weight. I’ve added a few more worksheets because of my HBP. I usually don’t have a problem sharing my personal information with the Internet, but for some reason… this day-to-day data of my personal habits seems a bit more valuable than “status updates” and “blog entries”. Here’s a general overview of the worksheets though:
- Overview (dashboard)
I’ll put fancy pie charts of each worksheet here.
- Goals (goal, type of goal, due date, date accomplished)
Make sure your goals are realistic. Also it’s best to start out with goals you can reach by the end of the week and then work your way to monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual goals.
- Food Log (date, time, food item, amount, food type, location, audience, mood, hunger level, notes)
- Blood Pressure (date, time, systolic, diastolic, pressure category)
- Exercise (date, start time, end time, duration, type of exercise)
Note that any exercise is good, but it’s also good to get some light weights into your pattern. Lifting weights helps to burn fat that walking or jogging alone can’t do.
- Weight (date, time, weight, difference)
This should be done on a weekly basis. It’s too stressful, on your mind, to weigh yourself daily, weight fluctuates too often. When you do weigh yourself, though, make sure you weigh in at the same time as you did last week.
BMI… You Liar!
The next thing on my list is to make an appointment with my personal physician, even though I haven’t seen him in over a year. The last time I saw him, he gave me some sample drugs that should help lower blood pressure and he suggested I lose some weight. I started taking the pills, but I haven’t lost much weight – so I avoided him after that. My body mass index (BMI) states that I’m in the obese category. Compared to the average obese individual [pictures], in America, I’m far from obese, but according to my height and weight – I should be 178 lbs. Yah, I’m about 235 lbs – big difference. I got a lot of work. Personally; with my muscle mass, I think 190-200 lbs would be ideal.
In the end I really hope I can make this habitual change stick. I noticed that I take care of everyone else (wife, kids, work, business, etc), but I don’t look out for myself. It’s about time I became a little selfish (in that area). For the record, I am selfish in other areas, but who isn’t!? Let me know what you think about the way that I’m going about changing my health. Are you in the same boat? Are you and BMI friends?